Arata Matthew Kenney Arata
67 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10002
Cuisine: Japanese / Vegan / Vegetarian
Plant-based Japanese-inspired eats from Matthew Kenney in the East Village.
Openings: Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.
Arata, New York, NY

Arata Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant & décor: Vegan chef and cookbook author Matthew Kenney’s sleek, minimalist 75-seat restaurant (his fifth in New York City) serves plant-based vegan Japanese food. The elegant, subdued spot is decorated in shades of grey and beige, and on nice days, the doors are open onto the East Village.

Likes: Saké on tap; beautiful space; creative vegan offerings; ramen and udon.
Dislikes: Buns and pancakes can be greasy; prices are high.

Food & Drinks: Arata is inspired by Japanese flavors, but many of the dishes, like the steamed bun florentine with yuzu cashew hollandaise, are unique. Mushroom tempura hand rolls are lightly crisp on the outside, and about as meaty as vegan food can get, with a fresh zing from radish sprouts. Assorted ramen and udon bowls are made hearty with smoked tofu, Sichuan tempeh “sausage” and chickpeas. Considering the chefs have only plants at their disposal, the sunflower tonkotsu ramen’s richness borders on remarkable. Kimchi pancakes can get a little greasy, but they’re still carby, spicy and flavorful with sesame-chili dipping sauce. For dessert, Arata serves a cacao matcha tart and rich sesame cheesecake. Saké is on tap, and there’s a selection of Japanese whiskeys, organic wines and cocktails that feature veggies.

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